Just the three metro meetings were conducted over the past week as the heat policy had the New Years Eve meeting from Sandown Park cancelled due to a forecast of 39 degrees.
The week opened with a handy meeting from The Meadows midweek and it was race one, number one who produced the run of the day.
Spring Bumblebee showed enough speed to retain the rails after jumping from box one, he then accelerated the further the race went as he ripped away to a ten length win in 30.08. He recorded only solid sections throughout, but the run home time he clocked had me excited. 12.08 for a maiden is a more than handy closing section so I think this fellow has a bright future ahead, potentially over 600m and beyond (Replay).
With Sandown Park cancelled on Thursday night, The Meadows took centre stage for the week of metro racing.
The best young male sprinters clashed in arguably the best age restricted event, the Group 1 Silver Chief Classic.
It was Ernest Bale who ran favourite despite the fact Harlon carried the hopes of the early punters throughout the week. As expected Harlon bounced out perfectly to set the tempo from the inside alley, Marley Bale kept challenging throughout but as they raced for home it was the Andy Stewart (pictured) trained Midwinter who played the stalking role behind the two leaders. At the top of the straight with Group 1 glory up for grabs, Midwinter shouldered his way into the clear and on to victory claiming the $100,000 first prize for the hobby trainer over Harlon, Marley Bale and Ernest Bale (Replay).
The other highs on the 12 race fixture included the the sensational handicap win of Ryno’s Raider in the staying event. Thomas O’Donovan would be looking forward to the next 12 months with his charger after the new kid on the block stepped up once again with a dominating success on Saturday night (Replay).
Lithgow Panther continued his imposing record over the middle distance here in Victoria after he bounced away beautifully from box one in the third. He exploded away with a massive mid race break and kept going to defeat Zigstar, who I thought was a superb run after early trouble (Replay).
The 11 race card at Sandown Park on Sunday rounded out the smaller week and once again there were a few very impressive victors.
After missing the kick in a small field of five, Kraken Nitro showed terrific strength as he sprinted quickly up the home straight, running to a smart 34.64 win over the 595m (Replay), whilst Slick Ice capped off a sensational week for the Melton based Stewart kennel after he ran them ragged in 29.64 from box four (Replay).
WATCH: Slick Ice wins at Sandown Park on Sunday, giving hobby trainer Andy Stewart of Melton a metropolitan double last weekend.